Decatur is designated as a Gold-level community due to outstanding management of development and parking, top-notch educational and outreach efforts, and progressive evaluation methods. Highlights of Decatur’s application include:
- Despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19, the City was able to continue numerous outreach efforts and public events that encourage people to walk. These events include FAB First Friday, Walk There! Decatur events, and range of other encouragement campaigns to promote active transportation and health.
- The City updated its Community Transportation Plan in 2018, which drives its investment in walking and pedestrian-oriented programs. The chapters devoted to pedestrians and bicyclists address existing services for these users, as well as priority networks and a list of recommended improvements and policies.
- Decatur updated its shared parking ordinance to reduce parking minimums and set new maximums for parking. They are incentivizing mixed-use developments with shared parking allowance, in one case reducing 510 spaces to 350 spaces.
- For a small community, Decatur has a dense and walkable core where nearly all trips are possible on foot. Their community is well connected to other destinations throughout the metro Atlanta region by MARTA transit services, and the City’s transit stations are optimized for bicycling and walking connections.
- The City has had a Safe Routes to School program since 2005, when it partnered with GDOT to pilot the program. All elementary schools and the middle school participate in the program. Having neighborhood schools makes it easy for most students to walk or bike to school. The City’s Police Department hires, trains and manages a team of 34 crossing guards to support safe trips to and from school.
- Connections to regional destinations are at the center of the City’s partnership with the PATH Foundation, which was formalized with the Decatur PATH Foundation Connectivity and Implementation Plan. This collaboration is working toward nearly ten miles of bicycle and pedestrian trail improvements along seven segments that will create critical regional connections to Decatur